18 CRAFTBUTCHER l FEBRUARY 2018 ARE YOU IN THE
HEALTH & SAFETY
CULTURE CLUB? by Paul Hobbs, Principal EHO at Horsham District Council
and get new employees out onto the shop floor quickly the induction training programme for new staff was deliberately overlooked. A poor
A RECENT accident investigation resulted in the prosecution of a retailer for a breach of health and safety regulations. A young employee was injured in an accident where a defective cage trolley carrying a heavy load toppled over. Te employee suffered a severe fracture to her leg which required surgery using screws to realign the broken bones. Although the company
submitted a guilty plea, they claimed in mitigation that the employee was also culpable as she had not followed the company’s safe working practices. It is true that a significant number of
accidents can be traced to unsafe behaviours of staff. Te company claims that
the employee shares the blame is open to debate. Yes, the company has documented risk assessments and safe systems of work but these were stored on an inaccessible computer file. Tere was no evidence that these systems had actually been communicated to the staff. In fact the evidence gathered during the accident investigation suggested that there was a very poor health & safety culture throughout the company. Managers were aware of the company safety procedures but to save time
ON THE RADAR ST DAVID’S DAY: 1st March
A great opportunity to promote Welsh beef and lamb. BRITISH PIE WEEK: 5th - 11th March
Te perfect comfort food and always a popular mid-week meal solution.
MOTHERING SUNDAY: 11th March
Te day when Mums up and down the land will be treated to the great Sunday roast.
NATIONAL BUTCHERS WEEK: 12th - 18th March
One of the most popular events in the butchery calendar - see page 15 to see how you can get involved.
EASTER: 30th March - 2nd April
Te first bank holiday weekend of the year when friends and family gather together – see feature pages 8 & 9.
culture encourages an atmosphere where not complying with safe working practices is acceptable, and it doesn’t help the organisation to take effective action to solve health and safety problems. It’s not enough to provide safe equipment, systems and procedures if the culture doesn’t encourage safe working. A poor culture can encourage unsafe behaviours. A culture is a way of doing
things that is shared, taught or copied. Everyone in a particular culture tends to do things in a similar way, which they would consider to be the norm. Terefore, an organisation’s safety culture consists of its shared working practices, its tendency to accept or tolerate risk, how it controls hazards and how it deals with accidents and near misses. If management had lead from the front it would have created a likely positive attitude to compliance. Te challenge for this
particular company now is to learn from its mistakes and develop a positive influence on the organisation’s health and safety culture. Culture oſten develops slowly, and that fundamental change requires time. It’s hard to change the attitudes and beliefs of a workforce by direct persuasion, but by acting safely workers can start to think safely. A positive safety culture has
three key elements: • Working practices and rules for effectively controlling hazards.
• A positive attitude
towards risk management and compliance with the control processes. • Te capacity to learn from accidents, near misses and safety performance indicators and bring about continual improvement.
For these elements to work
effectively, the organisation needs to learn from what’s happening in the workplace. A prerequisite for a positive safety culture is good communication from the start of a worker's appointment. Managers should lead by example and the workforce encouraged to report their mistakes without fear of blame or retribution. Tere is evidence to suggest
that organisations with a poor safety culture can have the same underlying attitude to all process and procedures. Tis can result in poor product quality and financial control as well as poor health and safety. Join the Culture Club –
As Boy George once sang, ‘Do you really want to hurt me’? n
YOU can never rest easy when it comes to health and safety for your business. Problems can happen when you least expect them. Peninsula offer members
unlimited access to their exclusive 24-hour advice line, providing all the right answers on all issues of health and safety.
Call: 0844 800 7091
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